The staff at K9 Ranch like to think of themselves as surrogate parents to the dogs who stay here.  So understandably, like any parents, their absolute top priority is the health and safety of the four-legged children in their care.  To ensure that all guests who stay at the ranch are protected and secure in every possible way — and, therefore, to guarantee the peace of mind of their primary two-legged parents — there are rigorous requirements that must be satisfied regarding vaccinations.
Keep in mind as you read the admittedly strict and inflexible list below that ordinary, run-of-the-mill (okay, yes, lesser) boarding facilities probably do have more relaxed rules and lower standards regarding vaccinations than K9 Ranch does.  Then ask yourself:  do I really want my dog staying at such an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, lesser establishment?

The vaccination requirements established by K9 Ranch have been carved in stone for a simple reason:  to safeguard the health of each and every dog who sets paw on the property.  The word “clean” means more than just “rendered spotless by application of a mop and bucket.”  At K9 Ranch, it also means “as completely free from contagious canine illnesses as humanly possible.”  Yes, the rigidity of these rules may mean an extra visit to the vet before boarding can begin.  But this slight inconvenience is more than outweighed by the level of cleanliness the ranch’s elevated standards attain.

General Summary

Each guest at K9 Ranch must be certified by a licensed veterinarian before they can be boarded here. To summarize:

  • Vaccinations should be administered at least 7 days before a dog’s arrival for boarding.  A dog whose vaccinations are given within the 7 days immediately prior to his or her stay will not be accepted for boarding.
  • If an updated vaccination is needed, this should be administered at least 3 days before a dog’s arrival.
  • A puppy should complete his or her full series of vaccinations, including the rabies vaccination, at least 3 days before arrival.
  • Proof of vaccinations  must be entered into our online booking system, at least 7 days before the commencement of boarding.
  • K9 Ranch’s vaccination requirements may differ from a veterinarian’s, so it unfortunately isn’t sufficient to simply ask the vet, “is my dog ‘up to date’?”

Specific Vaccination Requirements

Once a dog is out of puppy-hood and has received his or her initial series of puppy shots, these are the subsequent required vaccinations:


  • Most adult dogs get a 3-year booster shot for rabies and, given the seriousness of the disease, it’s absolutely mandatory for dogs staying at K9 Ranch to be up to date on this vaccination.

Bordetella (a.k.a. Kennel Cough)

  • This highly contagious respiratory ailment is common to run-of-the-bill dog-boarding facilities (yes, the lesser ones mentioned above).  K9 Ranch does everything possible to prevent its presence here and so requires that all guests receive a Bordetella vaccination less than 6 months before a stay.

DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo and Parainfluenza)

  • This is a combination shot that vaccinates against four diseases.  Because different veterinarians have different names for this shot, the best thing to do is verify that the shot protects against Distemper and Parvo.
  • It’s common for adult dogs to receive a 3-year booster shot for DHPP — completely acceptable at K9 Ranch as long as the booster is current.
  • For puppies, the DHPP vaccination should be current in the last year.

Titer Test (if a dog is not going to be vaccinated for DHPP)

  • The Vaccine Titer Test tells whether a dog is likely to be protected against the most common infectious canine diseases.
  • K9 Ranch will accept a Titer Test administered within the past year, if a dog is not going to be vaccinated for DHPP.
  • A Titer Test for puppies is done once the puppy vaccinations are complete and he or she is ready for booster shots.

Canine Influenza (recommended not mandatory)

  • Dogs should receive an annual vaccine to protect against this disease. CIV (H3N8).  We do require all pets coming from or having recently visited the US to have this vaccine and booster administered at least 10 days prior to visiting the Ranch.


  • This treatment should be current.

Enforcement of the Rules

K9 Ranch reserves the right to refuse admittance to any canine guest who:

  • lacks proof of vaccinations
  • displays evidence of untreated or potentially contagious conditions
  • fails the ranch’s standard health and temperament requirements/policies
  • demonstrates aggressive behaviour (this isn’t a vaccination requirement but it has to be said somewhere!)

Final Personal Reminder (and, no, this shouldn’t be considered “nagging”)
Please make sure to upload proof of vaccinations or of a Titer Test to the K9 Ranch online booking system at least 7 days before the commencement of boarding.

If you have any questions about K9 Ranch’s health and vaccination requirements, please call us at 905-936-2224 for an explanatory chat.



We want your dog to feel good! Reaching an ideal weight will help prevent injuries and help keep your dog healthy and fit. Our setting provides the ideal weight loss environment for your dog, with 26 beautiful acres in the peaceful country, large, immaculately maintained, grassy play areas, wooded nature trails and plenty of fresh air.

Learn More about K9 Weight Loss Programs